If you’ve ever found yourself lost on the grounds of the mammoth Sunbelt Ag Expo, you’re not alone.

With a 100-acre exhibit area, 40 acres of parking, and a 600-acre research farm, it’s easy to get lost, and that’s why for the second year, there’s a smartphone app to help keep you headed in the right direction and to help you plan your day.

The 2012 Sunbelt Ag Expo, to be held Oct. 16-18, at Spence field in Moultrie, Ga., features more than 1,100 exhibitors, a working farm, equipment demonstrations and driving ranges, and various educational opportunities.

After a successful launch in 2011, with more than 9,000 downloads during the three-day show, the exclusive tradeshow mobile app for the Sunbelt Ag Expo is back this year with improvements that promise to make it even more user-friendly and valuable to show-goers.

The app — provided by Farm Press Publications and Penton Media Inc. — allows those attending the Sunbelt Expo to use their iPhone, IPod Touch, iPad, Blackberry or Android to receive up-to-the-minute news alerts and other breaking information during the three-day show.

“The Sunbelt Expo mobile app was produced by Penton Custom Media and has been used at some of the largest trade shows in the nation,” says Greg Frey, vice-president at Penton Media and publisher of Farm Press.

 “We had a successful launch of the app at the 2011 Sunbelt Ag Expo, and we believe the improvements made this year will further enhance participants’ experience at the show.”

Farm Press, a member of the Agricultural Group at Penton Media, publishes Southeast Farm Press, Delta Farm Press, Southwest Farm Press and Western Farm Press.

Southeast Farm Press is an official sponsor of the Sunbelt Agricultural Exposition and publishes the official show program and the Sunbelt Expo Field Day Guide.

Better way to plan visit

“In the ever-changing world of communications, this mobile app will allow our attendees to better plan their visit to the show and give them up-to-the minute updates and reminders of events that interest them,” says Chip Blalock, executive director of the Sunbelt Ag Expo.

“We are proud to partner with Farm Press to create this mobile app and take our promotional efforts to the next level.”

The Sunbelt Expo is one of the most comprehensive shows for the agricultural industry, says Blalock.

“The Expo is a central location where agricultural researchers and educators are addressing important issues for today’s farmer. In one day, visitors can evaluate models and brands that might not be readily available in their area through state-of-the art field machinery demonstrations as well as view cutting-edge research practices and interactive educational exhibits.

“Expo really offers the most efficient means of finding it all in one place at one time, and the new mobile app promises to enhance that experience for all who attend this year’s show.”

Through the mobile app, Sunbelt Expo content will be available on your wireless device to use before, during and after the show.

Before the Expo, the mobile app can be used to view seminar schedules, speakers, exhibitors, a ground map and Twitter feeds.

Then, during the show itself, the app can be used to locate booths and search for companies, find sessions and read about speakers, read daily news and announcements, email or call exhibitors, plan your day, view the schedule of events and receive live alerts from the Expo and Farm Press staffs.

In addition, the app will be available for up to six months following the show to provide contact information for speakers, sponsors and exhibitors with instant links to their websites; read Expo-related news; download brochures; and receive updates.

New to the app this year is a “Locate Me” feature. When on show grounds, users tap a “Locate Me” icon on the Dashboard. This prompts them to enter a company name or a booth number of their nearest location. When they do, the map comes up with that booth space highlighted, so users can see where they are on the grounds.

Also, a new “Rooms” function this year allows users to map the location of the various sessions and events. If they tap a room or location on one of the interactive rooms maps, the app will bring up every session located in that particular location.

Alternately, in a specific session description, users can tap the location in the session detail to bring up the map and highlight the location.

The Sunbelt Ag Expo mobile app is available now. Search for Sunbelt Ag Expo 2012 or go to http://m.core-apps.com/expo2012 on your mobile device.

phollis@farmpress.com